Monday, March 23, 2009


I’ve been thinking about my writing process lately and wondering if I can change it. I can’t write different scenes and put them together later. I seriously doubt I could start at the end and work my way to the beginning. And I know I’d have difficulty writing a rough draft all the way through without rewinding a thousand times and polishing, which is my current process and always has been.

What’s your writing process and how has it changed over the years? Or are you like me and still doing it the same?


M.V.Freeman said...

Process? What process, I muddle, and curse, and drag along. Not very conducive if I say so myself.

I think I also need to work on a process.

Hmmmm, I think they call this "development". LOL

I like that you brought this up, it has me thinking now....

Carla Swafford said...

I start from the beginning and trudge through the rest of the book.

On one book, whenever I stalled I would write a scene further into the book hoping it would speed me up. Nope! Plus the book turned out choppy.

I've thought about trying writing an outline of each chapter and then writing the book, but I'm afraid I would get bored with the book knowing how it ends. LOL!

Christine said...

I still have to go from start to middle to end in the first draft. I just plowed through a first draft very quickly, no turning back, for a book in a week course. I loved it. Now the core of the story is down. But the real work is only just beginning.

Louisa Cornell said...

Hmm. Basically I write the book from start to finish. THEN I go back and see what I need to add or scrap. The thing is, many of my scenes come to me at the strangest times and places. That is why I keep index cards in my pockets at work. Sometimes the characters just start talking and I have to get it down. Fortunately my co workers know about me and when they see me whip out an index card and start scribbling they say "Hang on a second. Pam's writing."

What I can't see to stop is scenes from another book coming to me when I am working on my current WIP. For that I keep index card boxes and notebooks for each book for which I have an outline - each book that pops up in my head. That way I have someplace to put these scraps of ideas when they come to me for future reference. Once I get to the last five or so chapters I tend to outline what needs to happen in each one to get to the end. It makes it easier for me to write into that homestretch.

Karen Beeching said...

Wow, isn't that interesting how differently we all approach this thing called writing?

So neat to see the differences.

Thanks for sharing, everyone! Anyone else?

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Very interesting! My process is evolving, I think. Before I sold, I wrote a few chapters, rewrote them, wrote some more, chucked half of it, went to work on something else, etc.

Now, I pretty much have to stick with one book at a time, and I have to see it through to the end fairly quickly.

I write three chapters, get editorial feedback, then rewrite the 3 chapters and continue to write the rest. Then I do revisions if my editor requires them (she usually does, but this last book was light whereas the first was rewritten twice).

The more you write, the more you see how to do it for YOU. I don't outline, don't really plot. I see the characters and get to know them and their problems. And then I write.

When I see the next book idea happening while writing the current, I sometimes make notes about it -- but just as often I let it marinate in my head. I used to write everything down, but I don't do that too much anymore. I find that the book grows organically so that by the time I get to a place where I thought I might do something specific, it's all changed.

But this is how I work. I think there's no right way, only the way that works best for you. I used to blast to the end, then rewrite, but these days I rewrite as I go, then rewrite at my editor's direction. Process evolves. :)

Christy Reece said...

The only process I have is to write the book. To finish it any way I can. If that means writing till the end without editing, then I do it. If that means editing each chapter after it's written, I do that. If that means writing scenes out of sequence, I do that.

Every book I've written has been a completely different process. What worked for one doesn't work for the next one. My characters are different for each book and so am I. I'd love to have just one way and be able to rely on it each time but I don't.

However, I have found that chocolate is an important part of the matter what process I'm using!

Christine said...

I think my process is evolving. I loved getting the core of the story down and I used post its (mine are in the bathroom as I tend to get tons of scenes and dialogue while cleaning up and washing my hair!). I loved the revision process as it was like taking a picture and cutting it into puzzle pieces and figuring out how they all fit in after the fact. Breaking the bones and resetting them is how I often see it.

I get bugged by my older books' characters and scenes all the time. I plop stuff on post its or index cards and I have a notebook for each book (sometimes more than one) that I jot stuff in. I jot it down, put it away and refocus on the current WIP.

Today I managed to accomplish zip. I am too nervous about the GH announcements.

Blah--I need chocolate.

Louisa Cornell said...

Amen, Christy! I have to have chocolate to write!